|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Remarks on Japanese Foreign Minister's Statement on the Award of South China Sea Arbitration initiated by the Philippines|
Q: Regarding the final award rendered by the Arbitral Tribunal, the Japanese Foreign Minister said in a statement that the award is final and legally binding on the parties to the dispute under the provisions of UNCLOS, and the parties to this case are required to comply with the award. Japan strongly expects for the parties' compliance with this award. What's your comment?
A: We have noted the statement by Japan. By unilaterally initiating and forcing ahead with the arbitration case on the South China Sea, the Aquino III Administration of the Philippines intended to negate China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea and cover up its illegal occupation of China's territory. As we all know, members of the Arbitral Tribunal were picked by the Japanese judge, Shunji Yanai, former president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. He also serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Panel for the Prime Minister on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security, helping Shinzo Abe lift the ban on collective self-defense right and challenge the post-WWII international order. We can tell from this that the Arbitral Tribunal has been politicized at the outset of its establishment. The Arbitral Tribunal is unlawful, and the so-called award it rendered by exceeding its jurisdiction is illegal, null and void. China has repeatedly stated its steadfast position of not accepting nor participating in the arbitration case and not accepting nor recognizing the so-called award.
Japan is supposed to know well the historical background of the South China Sea issue. During WWII, Japan invaded and appropriated China's South China Sea islands, which were then recovered by China after Japan was defeated. There are clear provisions on this in the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation which set up the post-war international order. And Japan keeps promising to comply with relevant provisions of the Potsdam Proclamation. Japan should respect the post-war international order. It is hoped that Japan would bear in mind the China-Japan relations and regional peace and stability, reflect upon its inciting actions on the South China Sea issue, stop poking its nose into and playing up this issue, and refrain from going further down the wrong path.